Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Open road, boats, bad food = Day One, Michigan

Most of you who pay attention to my blog entries know that this previous weekend Matt and I went to Michigan as a 7 year anniversary/meet blogger friend/cross some shit off of Sara's 30/30 list. And some of you might ask, "Hey Sar- is Matt sick of your list?" Why, yes. Yes he is.

But he troops through it because I'm large and in charge. Well, I think we're probably the same weight, he's taller, but I do dictate what we do. Mostly because if it were up to him, we'd never leave the couch because we'd be watching a continuous loop of Antiques Roadshow. So you can see what my role in this family is.

Anyways. So for the last year or so I've been making friends with Jennifer from Just Hides The Dishes In The Dryer and one day.. we decided to meet up. Having gone on a few blogger meetups before I felt OK with meeting someone. Even though I'd be staying in the same hotel with them in the middle of nowhere. I felt pretty OK that her and her husband wouldn't kidnap me and sacrifice my body. Mostly because we were staying in Paradise, Michigan and who wants to fuck up a town like that when their name is Paradise? Anyways.

So on Friday morning Matt and I left Superior at like 4:30 in the morning. I'm not even kidding. I didn't fall asleep until after midnight because I was busy getting stuff done so we could just get up and go. Our first destination was actually Sault Ste. Marie where we would all meet up and then get on a boat tour of the Soo Locks. If you don't know what the Soo Locks are (which is OK because Jennifer and I still don't really get it), they are pretty much like gates between the different Great Lakes. This one is specifically the gate between Lake Superior and Lake Michigan. The "locks" is like a tunnel in which incoming/outgoing boats sit in while they raise or lower the water to match whatever water level the lake they are trying to enter into. The cool thing about this is that we would actually be entering into Canada once we went through the locks so officially--- "travel internationally" is off my list. I was completely in Canada. Canadians waved at me- it's official.

Anyways. So here is Matt and I on the boat:
 This is the world's largest horizontal hydro plant? I believe that's what they said. But it was built by Italians who were first to develop the area. What we liked about the building is that Italians are apparently really great at masonry, and so all along this massive building are lighthouses made of brick. It was really a pretty building.
Here is me and Matt in Canada. I swear that is a Canadian flag in the background. Despite the fact it was windy, it refused to cooperate.

 Jennifer and I before entering into the locks. She is as awesome and fun and spunky as she is on her blog. I had no doubt we'd get along but I was pleasantly surprised. I told Matt at the end of the trip it felt like her and Jon were old friends. I love these people.
 OK, so here is the lock. Well, the Canada entry one. Notice how low the water is right now? And you see the line on the red gates towards the top? That's how high the water has to be in order for us to get into Lake Superior.
Consequently, when we came back into the locks, they had to drain the water back to this level so we could get into Lake Michigan. It's about a 15 minute process each way and it's kind of a cool thing to be on the boat while the water goes up and down.

After our Soo Lock tour, we headed back to Paradise to check into our hotel. Across the parking lot of our hotel was the Red Flannel Saloon or some shit. Um, this place is kind of hick? I mean, it's pretty... well let's just say the health department probably didn't get to those parts much and the owners really like baskets. Like, baskets were everywhere. The service was spotty, the food wasn't great, but the best part?

Your drink came in a mason jar. Honestly- I thought this was just a southern thing? And while I've drank out of a mason jar before it was just bizarre to be doing so in the U.P. of Michigan. Can I also say that our food was really expensive? My burger tasted weird, I highly doubt that was cow I was eating.

After paying for our food we headed up to the lower Tahquamenon Falls. Which is the "see a new waterfall" portion of my 30/30 list. I'll do an entire post on just the falls because I have too many pictures of it and I think you'll like my little post of that. ;)

But tomorrow.. I'll tell you about the rest of our trip. AND... stay tuned because I have a contest in the works. It's going to be gloriously disgusting yet awesome. And so me.

In the mean time, send me your questions for Dear Sara Friday to sarastrand9438(at)hotmail(dot)com. Remember, no questions = no post. Get them to me by Thursday evening to be included.

And as a final note, check out my blog post for The Note Project HERE. I hope you like that, I'm excited as hell to be included in it, and I hope you participate in your own note of appreciation.


Oilfield Trash said...

Looks like you two crazy kids had a good time.

Anonymous said...

have you noticed the photo bomber of your pic of you and matt on the boat? :)

Looks like you had a fun trip!

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

Your drink came in a mason jar really are these people cheap or what and weird tasting food......at least you liked Jen and her hubby and had a good time.

____j said...

I love drinking out of mason jars. ESPECIALLY sweet tea. I don't care how hick it may sound, I grew up doing it, and wouldn't trade it for anything.

TriGirl said...

Stopping by from Mingle Monday. I've read Leave the Dishes in the Dryer--that lady is funny! I have drunk out of mason jars at Montana's restaurants...in Canada :)

Veronica M. D. said...

Ha! My husband LOVES Antiques Roadshow! He and I went on a waterfall tour of the UP a few years before we got married -- I LOVED it. Yeah, the Mason jars? Some places in Michigan think they are being "cute" using them. Whatevs.

Ruth said...

Maybe it was moose.
I always thought the channels and locks were kind of cool. Only saw them on TV though.
It's great you guys were able to get away to celebrate.

Dana said...

It all looks like so much fun. That's one area I've yet to explore but want to. Can't wait for the next trip blog.